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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Our Long Weekend in the Dominican

We usually have taken our big vacation around Spring break the past few years but this year I was in my last semester of grad school and we had a ton going on with the businesses so I thought it was best to stay at home and focus on all the work at hand.  Because of that we didn't book a week long vacation in March we powered through and I got graduated and things were calming down.  I had been planning a graduation trip for my brother for the Summer but I really wanted Hendrik and I to get a little break.  With the Summer plans approaching and us knowing that we wouldn't really be able to get away for a while I found us an amazing resort in the Dominican Republic.  I booked the trip for a long weekend which is just enough time for us to get away, disconnect, reconnect, and recharge.  I usually don't want to do an all inclusive package simply because I like to experience the culture of the place we are visiting and don't want to "just stay on the resort" like all the other Americans.  This trip was different I had graduated the week before and was really reeling from the past few months.  It had been crazy busy and very stressful and all I wanted to do was sit on a beach with a book and a bottle of water and sleep, tan, eat, repeat.   

We left early Friday May 20th.  We stayed the night in Dallas the night before since we had to be at the airport by 4:30 am. We arrived early afternoon around 1.  We weren't able to check into our room until 2:30 so we set our bags down and went to the lunch buffet to refuel.  We hung out there a bit and then got a few items from the hotel shop like a tooth brush and sunscreen....both of which I had forgot to pack for myself!  By the time we had finished that it was time to get our room keys.  We found  our room, changed, and headed back down to the pool.  We decided on where to make dinner reservations for the rest of our stay there and booked that as well as a few activities.  They had something like 9 restaurants on the property so we had plenty of options not to mention the usual casual buffets if you wanted that.  For the first night we chose to eat at the Mediterranean restaurant and it was delicious. 

at airport with the breakfast essentials...banana and coffee
You could see the sea foam blue waters from all over the property and the water was so calm it was beautiful!

the main pool on the adults only resort 
Our second day in the Dominican, Saturday May 21st we had an awesome day that started out with ultimate relaxation.  After a nice breakfast we had massages that were 90 minutes and glorious!  Not only did we get a deal by booking on our arrival day of buy one get one free but the entire atmosphere of the spa was relaxing.  Once we had our massages we got changed and had a nice workout in the gym.  Out of all hotel gyms this one was by far the best I'd ever seen. They actually had weights and some really good machines.  The only downfall was the gym was really crowded.  I got in some quality reps for legs then we headed out.  We walked the long way that we hadn't taken back to our area and saw more of the resort and changed into our swim suits and grabbed our snorkel gear from our room.  We walked a ways down the beach away from our resort and found a snorkel spot.  We didn't see much but it was nice trying out our own gear Hendrik had gotten us for all our trips and just seeing the different plants and things.  After snorkeling we settled in at the pool and found a couple from Michigan that we talked to for a while. We had early dinner reservations that night so we headed back to the room around 6 to get ready.  We ate at the Mexican restaurant that night and although it was OK it wasn't the best and we agreed that if were staying longer we wouldn't go back there.  When your from Texas other people's "Mexican" just doesn't compete. LOL After dinner we walked around the mall area of the resort and watched a portion of a musical that was a compilation of 4 popular Broadway shows.  Hendrik was for sure not feeling it and we were really tired so we headed back to the room.  I always feel the pressure to stay up late at night on vacation because I don't want to miss out but this vacation and really any is VACATION it is to rest and relax so we have to remind ourselves that its ok to head in when we feel ready. 

our snorkel spot

Sunday May 22nd our last full day in the Dominican was probably the most rewarding!  The day that we arrived we were booking all our dinner reservations and Hendrik wanted to know about surfing so we found the concierge and they told us the price and all the details.  Well I turned and said awesome you book that and while you're there I'll just hang out and do the pool or whatever!  He was like well your not going to do it with me??  After watching the victory and then all the struggle that came with his surfing in Costa Rica I wasn't sure it was for me but it was something that he wanted me to do with him so I said I'd try.  We booked our trip for half a day so we had to be up early for breakfast and ready to be picked up around 7:45 that morning.  We picked up 2 other people at a neighboring resort and headed to the other side of the island to the main surfing beach there in the Dominican.  We got our boards and rash guards, a bit of on the beach instruction, then headed out.  

OMG we had so much fun and with the nice waves and our own instructors we both did awesome.  We surfed about an hour to an hour and half before our break and it was the learning part of it and really getting our feet under neath us....LITERALLY!  We took a drink break and then headed back into some different waters so we could catch a bit bigger waves.  We had the best experience and the photographer took some amazing pictures of us.  We didn't know they would be taking pictures but I think they sold the disc for 40$$ and it was so worth it.  We have the best memories now and some great action shots.  We now plan on not only snorkeling every where we go but also surfing!  The only thing is that we had someone pushing us from behind at take off so we both have to get better and learn how to take off ourselves but other than that we are good to go. 

We returned from surfing around lunch so we got a salad and chicken lunch from the buffet then parked it at the pool where I napped most of the afternoon and Hendrik swam and wondered around.  We went into the room a bit early this day just to get ready to leave, get ready for dinner and we had gotten a bit burned from surfing in weird places and it was starting to make it's presence known.  That night we ate at the steak house restaurant and it was really good.  We walked along the beach back to our room and watched some movies before we turned in for the night. 

the view from the lunch buffet!

May 23rd, Monday was the day we headed back home.  We packed up and brought our luggage down the same time we headed to breakfast so we wouldn't have to make so many trips.  At breakfast I remembered that I hadn't got our usual names in the sand pic so after breakfast I walked out and did that.  I had to use my phone as a camera because the night before my camera just decided to quit working all together.  We lounged around the lobby area and drank some expresso while we waited for the shuttle to pic us up for the airport.

Although we didn't see a ton of the country and the culture of the Dominican this long weekend trip was the perfect vacation and exactly what we wanted it to be.  It is crazy how quickly some time away can change our dynamic and really get us back in the groove of each other.  With working together and doing everything together there is a lot of everyday that is in our relationship even if we try to not bring it home.  I think we do a pretty good job of managing it but vacations are always just that extra push we need.  We came home tanned, smiling, reconnected, and rejuvenated and that is what we wanted.  

We stayed at the adults only section of the Barcelo Bavaro Beach resort which was all inclusive, nicely priced, and had everything we needed or could want.  Check it out HERE!

Until next time...HAPPY TRAVELS!

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